At the beginning of October, a group of modern-day pilgrims set off from St James’ Church in the historic parish of Louth, and made their way to Lincoln Cathedral as part of a series of 3 new pilgrimages, called “Journeys of Faith”, designed to celebrate social justice and religious freedom.

Over the centuries, pilgrims made their way across England to various places of worship, including Lincoln Cathedral and “Journeys of Faith” now provide a unique and exciting opportunity to travel to the Cathedral in the paths of those ancient pilgrims.

Louth was chosen as the first of the “Journeys” to be launched because of its connection to the Lincolnshire uprising, which began on 1 October 1536, when members of the local congregation marched to Lincoln to protest religious changes that King Henry VIII was about to enforce. The second and third pilgrimages will be setting off from Epworth and Boston in 2019. 

As a modern-day pilgrimage, “Journeys of Faith” can be enjoyed by anyone of any age and of any faith. The inaugural pilgrimage in October saw participants, walk, cycle, motorcycle, drive, and take buses and boats to make their way, via 15 churches, to the Cathedral. This was to demonstrate that bringing people together to reflect on spiritual issues and to enjoy the rich history and beauty of Lincolnshire is more important than the mode of transport and that pilgrimage can be fun! 

Of course, some people may simply enjoy the “Journeys” as a walk in the countryside, appreciating nature’s beauty and seeing the changing seasons throughout the year but it’s also a great opportunity for people to share their stories and experiences with each other – like a modern-day Canterbury Tales.

The “Journeys of Faith Guidebook: a pilgrimage from Louth-Lincoln” contains complete walking guides and maps, historical and spiritual information and a Pilgrim Passport to record your Journey. It can be purchased online or in the Cathedral Shop at a price of £9.95 from 1 October 2018.

“Journeys of Faith” is being facilitated by the Lincoln Cathedral Connected project.  

Words by: Alan Wilson, Journeys of Faith Team Leader

Click here to purchase your Journeys of Faith guidebook online now.
Walking in the footsteps of history – Modern pilgrimage to Lincoln Cathedral set off from Louth

A group of ‘modern-day pilgrims’ set off from St James’ Church in the historic parish of Louth, making their way to Lincoln Cathedral as part of Journeys of Faith, a pilgrimage to celebrate social justice and religious freedom.

Over the centuries, pilgrims made their way across England to various places of worship, including Lincoln Cathedral. Journeys of Faith’s starting point of Louth was chosen because of its connection to the Lincolnshire uprising in 1536, when members of the local congregation marched to Lincoln to protest religious changes that King Henry VIII had introduced.

Louth is the first pilgrimage of three as part of Journeys of Faith, with the second and third setting off from Epworth and Boston in 2019.

As part of the launch event, the journey was spread over five days and saw participants walk, bike, motorcycle, drive and take boats and buses on their modern-day pilgrimage, visiting 15 churches on the route and appreciating nature’s beauty along the way. The pilgrims were made very welcome, receiving warm hospitality at each of these churches which are an integral part of the pilgrimage.

The aim of the pilgrimage is to bring people together and reflect on spiritual issues, with participants encouraged to reflect on the spiritual paths they’re taking as they traverse the physical path of the pilgrimage.

The Very Reverend Christine Wilson, Dean of Lincoln said: “Networks of ancient pilgrim routes are being rediscovered and reimagined all over the world and we’re thrilled to bring Journeys of Faith to Lincolnshire.

“Lincolnshire has a fantastic, rich history; its people founded a monastery, negotiated the Magna Carta, marched in thousands against the dissolution of the monasteries, sailed across the Atlantic, and composed hundreds of hymns. The Journeys of Faith pilgrimage embraces much of that local history as well as the people, places and events that have shaped religious freedoms and social justice over the centuries. It’s a great opportunity for people to share their stories and experiences with each other – like a modern-day Canterbury Tales.

“Journeys of Faith would not be possible without the amazing support of everyone involved and we are extremely grateful to our Journeys of Faith team of volunteers for providing a unique and exciting opportunity to come to Lincoln Cathedral in the steps of ancient pilgrims whilst taking a break from the routine business of daily life. We hope all participants have a wonderful experience and discover something about themselves along the way and encourage people of all walks of life to join us on the journeys.”

Fern Dawson, collections & engagement officer at Lincoln Cathedral, said: “Journeys of Faith is a great way to encourage new audiences to engage with the wider county of Lincolnshire, using Lincoln Cathedral as a final destination. It encourages all ages, all faiths to get out and enjoy nature, consider the stories which our historic churches tell and enjoy self-discovery.”

More information on Journeys of Faith can be found on the Cathedral website or by visiting the Cathedral shop and speaking to a member of staff. The “Journeys of Faith Guidebook: a pilgrimage from Louth-Lincoln” can be purchased online or in the Cathedral Shop for £9.95.

Journeys of Faith can be enjoyed by anyone of any age and of any faith and is facilitated by Lincoln Cathedral Connected, a project which has been made possible by money raised by National Lottery players and awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “We are delighted that the community involvement programme associated with the Lincoln Cathedral Connected grant is being used in such imaginative ways. In addition to the physical improvements to the Cathedral, events such as Journeys of Faith add a spiritual dimension to the excellent project, all of which is possible thanks to the generosity of National Lottery players.”

For more information about the Journeys of Faith pilgrimage or if you are planning your own group pilgrimage please email: rma@lincolncathedral.com

The Journeys of Faith guidebook is available to purchase from the Cathedral shop and by clicking here.